This week we’ve completely finished our book Fast Future! Ten Uber-Trends Changing Everything in Business and Our World, and the final manuscript is off to the publisher (Advantage Media Group, Charleston, SC http://advantagefamily.com).
Many, many folks have asked me about the book – why I did it, how did it – and why a book about the future? This is a project now several years in the making, which grew originally out of our consulting and speaking practice, and in helping professional services firms, entrepreneurs, and middle market firm leaders to improve and grow their businesses. Along the way I’ve become especially fascinated with the many areas where significant, accelerating, and highly disruptive change is coming, approaching, eminent, and inevitable.
So, what is Fast Future! all about? In a nutshell I describe the focus and perspective of the book through three important observations that I (and others) have made over the last few years:
Change– A look forward into our future – through the lens of my ten, global-scale “uber-trends” – suggests that profound, transformative change is coming fast, arriving now, and here to stay. In many areas this change is not only moving very fast, but is also accelerating fast (and even exponentially). If true, these disruptive forces will in short order (in the next few decades) radically reshape virtually everything about our world, our business, our society, and our lives.
Lethargy– Across the economic spectrum, too few organizations are doing enough today to address the changes ahead. Many aren’t even asking the right, relevant questions about the future, its implications, issues and opportunities, and the actions required for success. In some relatively insulated and protected market segments (like professional services), very, very few firms are focused enough on the future and the longer horizon. It seems a foregone conclusion then that an immense collision of this organization lethargy and the transformative change ahead seems inevitable – and indeed imminent.
Purpose– Those firms who are best preparing for future success are (somewhat surprisingly) focused not so much on the future itself, but more on what they control, on making their businesses better. These organizations are working to become stronger – more agile, adaptable, and resilient. They are accomplishing this through articulating clear purpose, providing clear and compelling vision, crafting and executing robust business strategy, building and aligning great teams, and in continuous improvement of the key parts of their business – marketing, operations, and people.
To avoid a collision with the Fast Future, the best organizations are busy today making themselves much better, stronger, more robust. That’s an opportunity that almost all organizations and individuals have – but that many will miss. And largely unlike I believe the past (where most enjoyed at least some success), the road ahead will be much rougher, with both big winners and big losers. More meritocratic yes, but much more demanding and competitive as well.
I’ve written Fast Future! Ten Uber-Trends Changing Everything in Business and Our World, to provide a jolt – an important and necessary wake-up call – for those organizations who are fearful of change, stuck in the short-term, enamored with the status quo. Today there is little clarity about exactly what the future holds, but there is I think considerable clarity about what business leaders must do about it.
The Fast Future! is coming – are you ready for it?